WXXI AM News

Daniel Estrin

Israeli police believe billionaire Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan bribed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with expensive cigars and pink champagne in exchange for a series of favors, among other corruption allegations police unveiled this week.

Netanyahu denied he did Milchan a single favor — except for one.

"The visa," Netanyahu said.

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The trial opened Tuesday in an Israeli military court for 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi. She is accused of assaulting Israeli soldiers outside her home in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

For many Palestinians, Tamimi is a symbol of resistance to a half-century military occupation that stands in the way of Palestinian independence and shows no sign of ending.

For many Israelis, Tamimi is a provocateur who goads soldiers on video and champions rock-throwing, influenced by relatives who have been involved in protests and attacks against Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority government is facing allegations that it is collaborating with the CIA to spy on the phone conversations of senior Palestinian figures, including adversaries and allies of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that a former Palestinian intelligence chief and the head of the West Bank bar association are suing the Palestinian Authority, convinced they were among those targeted.

A stormy tape recording has surfaced of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife screaming at an aide nearly a decade ago, the second such embarrassing leak to hit the Netanyahu family this month.

The Israeli military is speeding up construction of its first underground border wall.

The 40-mile-long wall will run the length of Israel's border with the Gaza Strip to counter tunnels that Palestinian militants have dug into Israeli territory.

Dozens of tunnels, reportedly running dozens of miles long, have been constructed in attempts to infiltrate Israeli territory and carry out attacks, according to the Israeli military.

"This is now a significant game changer," said Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus.

When Vice President Pence reverently placed his hand on the Western Wall in Jerusalem, some female journalists were fuming.

Gender segregation rules at the Jewish prayer site meant they were stuck behind a scrum of male colleagues, struggling to get a good view of Pence.

"All my photos have a man's shoulder in them," said Tal Schneider, diplomatic and political correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Globes. "I have Mike, with a shoulder and a bald spot ... of someone with a better view than me."

Vice President Pence says the United States will open an embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2019 — much more quickly than initially promised.

Pence announced the new timetable in a speech before the Knesset, Israel's parliament, drawing a standing ovation from Israeli lawmakers and accelerating one of the Trump administration's most contentious foreign policy decisions to date.

In the summer of 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son partied with friends at a Tel Aviv strip club.

What happened next has created a political embarrassment for the prime minister, who is already facing a criminal investigation into suspected corruption.